Fresh Kills: The Making and Unmaking of a Wastescape


This article examines the politics and symbolism of Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, New York, which was the subject of a struggle over where to dispose of the waste of a city strapped for space. While the landfill was closed in 2001, the events of 9/11 and the need to clear the large amounts of rubble and human remains from the site of the Twin Towers attack turned Fresh Kills into hallowed ground. This posed new questions about how to honor the memory of those lost in the disaster. These transformations ask questions about what parts of a site’s history are worthy of remembering and which part of the past we choose when restoring a landscape.